Explore the Ways Curley and Curley’s Wife Are Presented in the Novel ‘of Mice and Men’

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Explore the ways Curley and Curley’s wife are presented in the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ Curley and his wife are minor characters in the novel, however their presence in the novel has a far-reaching effect on the other characters and also the reader. The novel is set during the Great Depression in the 1920’s/30’s when racism, migrant workers and the American Dream were at their peak. The author, John Steinbeck, lived through these times and was a native of California where the story is set. In the passage where Steinbeck first introduces Curley’s wife, he uses many technical skills to show what Curley’s wife was like. He uses symbolism when she is first introduced; “Both men glanced up, for the rectangle of light was cut off.” The reference to the light can suggest that she cuts off the light because she is a negative character, and/or she takes away anything, which is good. The description of Curley’s wife starts with “a girl” that suggests that she appears looking sweet and innocent, childlike even. During the description, the colour red is repeated several times, “rouged lips”, ”her fingernails were red”, “red mules” and “red ostrich feathers”. This is a key thing because usually the colour red means; love, danger, blood, prostitutes – red light district, and passion. Red is also a primary colour in which young children are attracted to, this could explain why Lennie likes her so much; he has a childlike manner. As she is wearing many red items, it could be suggested that she may be a dangerous character in the novel. She is said to be wearing a “cotton house dress” with “wide eyes, heavily made up”, the clothes and make up do not fit into place with someone who lives on a ranch; it could imply that she wants to leave an impression on the men in the bunkhouse. The mention of ostrich feathers tells the reader that she has money and/or is wealthy. Despite her

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